Did you know that the franchise industry creates over 5.6 million jobs in 2019? We can expect that franchises are creating even more jobs now!
In the exciting and complex world of franchises, marketing plays a pivotal role in driving success across all locations.
This guide delves into the ins and outs of franchise marketing systems. It is packed with practical advice, actionable tips, and real-world examples to help you navigate the franchise marketing landscape.
Let’s jump right in!
Franchise Marketing 101
Franchise marketing is a unique beast. At its core, it’s all about spreading the word about the products or services offered by a franchise business. This involves promoting not just a single business location, but the entire franchise network, with a:
- Shared brand
- Marketing strategy
It’s not unlike standard business marketing, but with the added complexity of many moving parts across various locations. Just imagine juggling multiple balls in the air, each representing a different franchise outlet.
Tricky? Sure. But with a solid game plan, it’s definitely doable.
Picture your favorite franchise. What pops into your head? Is it a specific logo, color scheme, or maybe a catchy jingle? That’s the power of brand consistency at play.
When every franchise location sings the same tune, it creates a unified customer experience and strengthens brand recognition. Whether a customer walks into a franchise outlet in New York, London, or Tokyo, they should feel that familiar ambiance and quality of service.
Local vs. National Marketing
But it’s not all about blanket uniformity. There’s a delicate balance between national and local marketing in a franchise system.
The national marketing efforts, often managed by the franchisor, focus on broader brand building. It’s all about keeping the franchise name in the minds of the general public.
On the flip side, local marketing zeroes in on the community surrounding each individual franchise outlet. Franchisees can flex their creativity here:
- Tailoring promotions to local tastes
- Participating in community events
- Optimizing for local search results online
It’s about being part of the neighborhood while also being part of a bigger, recognizable brand. A delicate balance, but a rewarding one when struck right!
Building the Foundation of Franchise Marketing Systems
A marketing plan is your franchise’s north star, guiding you through the vast marketing universe. It’s not something you scribble down on a napkin over lunch.
No, this plan needs:
Your plan should map out your overall marketing strategy, detailing things like your:
- Target audience
- Marketing channels
- Specific campaigns
And let’s not forget about budgets and timelines.
Remember, your marketing plan isn’t set in stone. It should be a living, breathing document that evolves with market trends, competitive landscape, and franchise growth.
Brand guidelines define how the brand should be represented across all marketing efforts and franchise locations, detailing everything from logos and colors to typography and tone of voice.
They are the keys to maintaining that crucial brand consistency we talked about. It’s like a recipe. If every franchise follows it, customers will get that same delicious brand experience no matter which outlet they visit.
Digital presence? Yep, it’s just as vital as your physical one, maybe even more so. In our hyper-connected world, a robust online presence is a must.
This includes an SEO-optimized website with easy-to-find information about your franchise locations, services or products, and the brand’s story.
Social media platforms are also vital players here. They’re perfect for engaging with customers, sharing brand news, and even handling customer service issues.
And don’t forget about online reviews! Monitoring and responding to feedback on platforms like Google and Yelp is key to managing your online reputation.
Marketing Toolkit for Franchisees
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Every location has its unique quirks and audience, so they’ll need the tools to tailor marketing strategies to their local market.
The toolkit can include:
- Customizable ad templates
- Local SEO guides
- Social media best practices
- Event sponsorship ideas
Basically, anything that empowers franchisees to make some local noise while staying true to the overall brand.
Creating a Strong Franchise Marketing Strategy
Ever heard the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” Well, in the world of franchise marketing, it’s more like, “Know your market well and your competitors even better.” Market research and competitive analysis are your starting points.
You want to understand what’s happening out there:
- Consumer trends
- Market gaps
- What your competitors are doing right
- Where they’re dropping the ball
This isn’t just about knowing that your customers are, say, millennials. Nope, you need to dive deeper. Understand their needs, their preferences, and their habits.
- Are they night owls or early birds?
- Do they prefer Instagram or Twitter?
- Are they more price-sensitive or quality-oriented?
The more you know your audience, the more effectively you can tailor your marketing message to resonate with them.
Objectives and Goals
What do you want to achieve with your marketing?
Increase brand awareness? Boost sales by 10%? Improve customer retention?
Your objectives should be SMART:
Make sure they align with your overall business goals.
This isn’t about choosing every platform out there. Remember, you’re not trying to shout from the rooftops to everyone. You’re aiming for a meaningful conversation with your target audience.
So, pick the channels they frequent. Is it TV, radio, social media, email, billboards, or maybe a combination? Test, evaluate, and adjust as necessary.
Digital Marketing for Franchises
93% of the US uses the internet, and that number continues to grow. It is no wonder why many businesses, including franchises, turn toward digital marketing as their main strategy.
Let’s take a look at what digital marketing looks like!
SEO for Franchise Websites
A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website is the online home for your franchise, a place where customers can explore your brand at their own pace. Make sure each franchise location has its own dedicated page with key info like:
- Contact details
- Operating hours
And SEO? It’s what allows you to climb the ranks in Google’s search results. It involves keyword optimization, improving site speed, and creating a mobile-friendly design, among other things.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is about building a community, engaging with your audience, and showcasing your franchise’s personality.
You can share special promotions, highlight new products, or even showcase behind-the-scenes snapshots of daily operations. And let’s not forget about managing customer reviews and feedback.
Remember, each platform attracts a different audience, so tailor your content accordingly. You want your guests to have a good time, feel included, and come back for more.
It might seem a little old-school compared to social media, but it’s a powerhouse in its own right. It’s an excellent tool for keeping your customers in the loop about:
- Brand news
- Special offers
- Local events
Personalized emails can make customers feel special, improving loyalty and engagement.
Content and Blogging
Content marketing involves creating valuable, relevant content to attract and engage your audience. It could be blogs, infographics, how-to guides, or even a podcast.
The goal is not to hard sell but to provide value and position your franchise as a go-to resource in your field. You’re sharing knowledge to build trust and credibility, not directly pushing for a sale.
Finally, there’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and display ads. These are the ads that pop up on Google search results or other websites.
You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, hence the name. This is a great way to boost visibility online, especially for specific products or promotions.
You can target these ads to your desired audience based on factors like location, age, or even interests.
Local Franchise Marketing
Marketing on a global scale is crucial to your franchise, but you cannot underestimate the importance of local marketing for each separate franchise!
Make sure that each franchise follows a similar template for each marketing strategy that they can customize to their local audience.
Local SEO Marketing
You know that saying, “Think globally, act locally?” Well, that rings true for SEO too.
Local SEO is all about optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. Things like claiming your Google My Business listing, collecting positive customer reviews, and optimizing for local keywords can make a big difference.
This allows you to be the first name that comes to mind when locals search for the products or services you offer.
Getting involved in your local community can really boost your franchise’s visibility and reputation.
Think of sponsoring a local youth sports team, supporting a community event, or even participating in a charity run. These actions show that you’re not just a business entity, but a genuine part of the community.
PR and Media
Creating strong relationships with local media outlets can help spread the word about your franchise. You could:
- Offer to write a guest column in a local newspaper
- Appear on a local radio show
- Send press releases about your upcoming events or promotions
Events and Workshops
Hosting events and workshops is up next can attract potential customers, showcase your expertise, and provide value to the community.
For instance, if you own a pizza franchise, you could host a pizza-making workshop for kids. Or if you run a fitness franchise, a free community workout session could be a big hit.
These events allow people to engage with your franchise on a personal level, making them more likely to become loyal customers.
Are You Looking for Franchise Marketing Services?
Now that we’ve taken this journey together about the different franchise marketing systems, you are ready to start marketing your own!
Are you looking for help with your franchise marketing? Contact us today!